Monday, March 25, 2019

A Fiddler's Shame

I have pulled my fiddle out of the case and carefully removed the old strings. One was broken, it happened earlier this winter. I slowly removed them and carefully cleaned the dented and small instrument. It's been sadly neglected. The last time I played in public it was three tall mugs of beers in and too loud. I didn't know any of the songs at the Celtic session in town. They mostly played contra dance tunes, New England style of folk music. Everything I know is from southern mountain music. Songs like Shady Grove, and Blackest Crow, and Rain and Snow and Wayfaring Stranger. These are not like the high and fast reels of coastal Canada and below. I fumbled and was tipsy and basically embarrassed myself as a musician. My friends were supportive and clapped when I played but that was a kindness for my bravery. When I saw a video of that night I cringed and haven't played since.

But as the days grow a little longer and a little warmer I am finding myself missing music. I plan to start from scratch. Start with basic scales and the simplest songs. Play Ida Red, the song I teach beginners, twenty times a day until my fingers can draw it out like a yawn with my eyes closed. The only reason I was shamed out of playing was because I wasn't prepared, and I let my playing slack to the point of being unable to keep up with new tunes. Time to remedy that.

I'll start as a beginner, relearning all the old songs and slowly adding new ones. I seem to crave it like food by noon each day, and now that my fiddle is prepped for new strings and clean it is only a matter of time before I rosin a bow and get to it.

Things have been encouraging, but moving slow. It seems that every single time I make some headway there's money in the bank something comes up. The electric company sends a threatening letter, the internet/phone bill is due or it'll be disconnected, Friday's vet visit for worm meds... usual life stuff. I am exactly where I was a week ago with my bank account. I was not able to buy in any lambs or piglets. I have kept the fires low and only after dark, because I am not getting any more wood until late summer.

The bank account being in the same place isn't necessarily bad news. It means that I am not horrifically behind and was able to get in the sales I needed to cover a couple hundred dollars worth of urgent needs. If I am realistic, and lucky, it will be a tiny miracle if I do pull this month off and I don't think there will be any way to cover health insurance and the mortgage at this point. Which is a bummer but I have gone years without having any insurance at all. Having three months of it was already a small victory, and you know how I care for those small victories. They got me this far.

I know it isn't fun to keep reading about hardship. It is even less fun dealing with it here by myself. I ask for patience with things like soap orders or artwork. I am doing my best to get them out but I really need to get all of my energy towards keeping this farm out of threat of any possible foreclosure, which legally the bank can move forward with if a check isn't postmarked by the 31st. The roof over my head is my number one concern right now. More than updates here, or anything else. I hope to report back with good news as soon as possible.

Till then I will be practicing on a dented fiddle and finding music again as time allows. Wish me luck.